School 14
Official Obituary of

Speck Funeral Home - Billy Gene Gaw

December 7, 1933 ~ March 5, 2024 (age 90) 90 Years Old
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Speck Funeral Home - Billy Gene Gaw Obituary

  Celebration of Life Services Honoring the Life of Mr. Billy Gene Gaw, age 90, of Livingston will be held on Sunday, March 10, 2024, at Bilbrey's Crossing, 119 Rickman-Monterey Hwy, Cookeville, TN  38506 located in Rickman, Tennessee.  The family will welcome friends from 1 p.m. until 4 p.m.  A Military Service will begin at 4 p.m., by the Overton County Veterans Honor Guard.  

  Mr. Billy Gene Gaw was the only son of the late Owen A. Gaw and Nora Pearl Means Gaw, both of Cookeville, Tennessee.  At the early age of 12, Billy drove a lime truck with his late father and late uncle Edward Means, serving the Upper Cumberland area.  He continued driving while attending college at Tennessee Technological University.  He graduated from TTU on June 1, 1956, with his BS in Education and married his high school sweetheart Letha Jane Sells that very same day.  Billy Gene and Jane were married 68 years but had been together since he was 17 years old, and she was 16 years old.

  Billy began his teaching career at Hilham Elementary in August of 1956, at the age of 21 years old.  He was the youngest at that time to serve as principal, right out of college.  Also, Billy served as basketball coach.  Mr. Gaw thoroughly enjoyed and loved his time at Hilham Elementary.  All his students became his "Kids" and he always knew their names when he saw them in town.

  Mr. Gaw left Hilham Elementary and was placed at Livingston Academy in 1960, at the request of Principal Kenneth Stephens.  As a teacher and a counselor at LA, Billy Gene made many more memories with his students, where everyone truly loved Mr. Gaw.

  In 1967, he took a job at TTU in Admissions and Records, as an Admission Counselor; later, he became Assistant Director of Admission and Records.  While working at TTU, Mr. Gaw received his MA in Education: Guidance and Counseling.  After 37 years of service at TTU, Billy Gene retired to pursue a career as a babysitter for his last grandchild, Rheachel.

  Mr. Gaw was a member of the First Christian Church in Livingston, where he served as an elder and a Sunday School teacher for his beloved Disciples Class from 1966 until he was physically unable.

  Mr. Gaw served as SFG 1 in the Cookeville National Guard, retiring after 33 years of service.

  Billy leaves behind his loving and devoted wife Mrs. Letha "Jane" Gaw of Livingston, TN; daughters, Robin Gaw Long and husband Russell of Rickman, TN, and Cindy Gaw Prater and husband Sam of Madison, FL; grandchildren, Kiefer Smith, Karley Smith Wilson and husband Jake, Elizabeth Prater, and Rheachel Long.

  Billy was preceded in death by his parents.

Memorial Donations, in Lieu of Flowers may be made to the Billy Gene Gaw Scholarship Fund by contacting First National Bank or Speck Funeral Home. 


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